That is why we are particularly proud that Greer Fay Cashman, the Post’s exceptional Australian-born journalist, is being honored this evening by the B’nai B’rith World Center at its 29th annual awards in Jerusalem. In its citation, the distinguished seven-member jury headed by publisher Asher Weill says the Louis and Trudy Shidlovsky Lifetime Achievement Award is being presented to Cashman “for her long writing career on the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora, which has extended over nearly half a century.”
Cashman began writing for the paper in 1975 and joined the staff in 1981, covering a wide variety of beats from fashion to the President’s Residence and penning her popular column, Grapevine. But as the jury correctly notes, “her main concern has always been for the Jewish people.”
Grapevine, it says, “has included a degree of coverage of Jewish Diaspora affairs unmatched by any other Israeli newspaper.” The column forms “a unique bridge between personalities and events in Jewish life throughout the world and in Israel, including extensive coverage of the foreign diplomatic community in Israel and, inter alia, the Jewish populations in their home countries, and their interaction with the local Jewish communities.”
Cashman has made an invaluable contribution to the Israel-Diaspora relationship through her constant coverage of people in the news, home and away. She also never hesitates to speak out on the burning issues of the day, such as the current wave of global antisemitism.
“Journalists are important soldiers in the battle against antisemitism,” Cashman says. “We are the flag-bearers and the trumpeters. In addition to reporting on such incidents, journalists must also report on what is being done to quell antisemitism, and they have to call out governments which are using freedom of expression as an excuse for allowing the free-flow of antisemitic literature, and vulgar antisemitic terminology at rallies and sports events.”
Still, she adds, “Jewish journalism is not and should not be only gloom and doom. There are many bright things happening in the Jewish world, and these too should be reported within the context of Jewish outreach.”
Since its establishment in 1992, the B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism has recognized excellence in reporting on contemporary Diaspora Jewish communities and on the state of Israel-Diaspora relations in the Israeli print, broadcast and online media.
“The award is widely recognized as the most prestigious prize in the Israeli media industry for Diaspora reportage, and was established to help strengthen the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora,” B’nai B’rith said in a press release, adding that it aimed to encourage “quality reporting on Diaspora communities and Israel-Diaspora relations.”
Other prizes for Diaspora reportage will be awarded to Nurit Canetti, anchorwoman, editor-in-chief and producer of Galei Zahal (broadcast media) and Dan Lavie, Diaspora Affairs correspondent of Israel Hayom (print media).
B’nai B’rith says Canetti broadcast numerous programs and podcasts “that raised fundamental issues pertaining to Diaspora communities and Israel-Diaspora relations in the course of 2020,” while Lavie published more than 20 articles during that period in both Hebrew and English “on challenges faced by Diaspora communities, including the COVID-19 crisis.” A special citation for “Fostering Israel-Diaspora Relations through the Arts” will be presented to singer-songwriter Danny Sanderson.
Sanderson will sing, while Cashman will speak after receiving her award. Prof. Yedidia Stern, president of the Jewish People Policy Institute, and Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai will also address the gathering.
On his deathbed in 1959, Gershon Agron acknowledged the growing importance of the Diaspora by giving his blessing to the publication of a weekly overseas edition for readers abroad that became The International Jerusalem Post. What makes the Post a notch above the rest in its coverage of the Diaspora are journalists of Cashman’s caliber. We salute her for serving as a model to others through her sharp, engaging and relevant reportage on the Israel-Diaspora relationship.